92-year old Harriette Thompson is the oldest woman ever to complete the marathon, putting many less-than-92-year-olds to shame. Wearing her signature purple color, this Charlotte-based cancer survivor darted across the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon on May 31 after 7 hours, 24 minutes, and 36 seconds. She finished alongside her 56-year-old son, Brenny—who, assuredly, has a lot to live up to.
According to The Telegraph, Mrs. Thompson opted out of old-lady sewing circles at the age of 76 and burst onto the racing scene. Since then, she’s raised over $100,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
During the months prior to this particular marathon, she faced a number of obstacles that would have put anyone else on the sidelines. She lost her husband in January and had surgery on her leg: and still, she conquered this great feat.
What’s her secret to getting through this truly terrible course with a smile on her face? Classical music, of course! She’s a classically trained pianist, and she played many of her favorites mentally as she jogged along. Sure: a bit different than the standard runner’s exercise mix (see: electronic music), but whatever gets you through seven hours of intense over-ninety exercise, Harriette. You keep doing you. It’s been working so far.